baku [BAH-koo] In Japanese mythology, a benevolent spirit with aspects of a lion and other animals (descriptions vary from story to story) that is said to eat the bad dreams of children. During the Kami War, the baku turned hostile like all kami, devouring good and bad dreams alike.
garami [gah-RAH-mee] Something that catches or snatches.
genju [GEN-joo] A great spirit of the land.
goryo [GOR-yo] The disembodied angry spirit of a being.
jitte [JIT-teh] A parrying weapon that consists of a short metal rod with a tyne on one side for deflecting blades.
kanzashi [KAHN-zah-shee] Decorative hairpins.
ki [KEE] The circulating life energy thought to be inherent in all things.
miko [MEE-ko] A shrine attendant.
neko-te [NEH-ko-teh] A ninja weapon favored by female assassins (kunoichi) that consists of sharp metal nails that fit over the fingertips. Neko-te were often used to deliver poison.
ninja [NIN-ja] A sneak or spy trained in ninjutsu.
ninjutsu [NIN-joot-soo] Literally, the way of stealth. Ninjutsu consisted of a collection of methods and tricks geared toward efficient reconnaissance, assassination, and concealment.
reikai [RAY-kye] Another name for the kakuriyo, the realm of the kami.
shinobi [shee-NO-bee] Assassin.
shoji [SHO-jee] Paper screens used as doors and room dividers.
shuko [SHOO-ko] Ninja “climbing claws.” Shuko could be used as weapons in dire circumstances, both for slashing and parrying (catching blades).
shuriken [SHOO-ree-ken] Ninja “throwing stars.” These sharpened metal throwing weapons came in a myriad of types. They were more often used to cover a ninja’s escape (like a thrown caltrop) than as a ranged weapon.
tora [TOH-ra] Tiger.
yojimbo [yo-JIM-bo] Bodyguard.
People and Places
Azamuki [ah-zah-MOO-kee] A kami of treachery residing in the body of a simple sanzoku (mountain bandit).
Chisei [CHEE-say] A strange kami of intelligence said to reward the finding of patterns within thoughts.
Fumiko [FOO-mee-ko] A powerful, bitter ronin in Godo’s service.
Hidetsugu [hee-DET-soo-goo] The warden of Shinka, the ogre hermitage high in the Sokenzan range. A powerful ogre-mage who serves a great oni.
Higure [HEE-goo-reh] A legendary ninja said to have many lesser ninja in his employ.
Hokori [ho-KO-ree] A great kami of dust and drought.
Ichiga [EE-chee-ga] A mighty forest kami residing in the body of a simple monk.
Isao [EE-sow] A skilled samurai who was once in Konda’s service, but who turned away from the courtly life to seek a deeper wisdom in the Jukai Forest.
Ishi-Ishi [ee-shee-EE-shee] A goblin marksman made cranky by the presence of kami and the use of kami magic.
Iwamori [EE-wa-MOR-ee] Literally, “rock of the woods.” A budoka eager to prove his fighting skill against any and all challengers.
Jaraku [JAH-rah-koo] A meddlesome kami of manipulations residing in the body of a simple wizard.
Kaiso [KYE-so] A protective kami of lingering loyalties residing in the body of a simple samurai’s attendant.
Kaminari [ka-mee-NAR-ee] The Japanese word for lightning, as well as the name of the great kami of thunder and lightning.
Kentaro [ken-TAR-oh] A legendary, charismatic samurai who recruits warriors for the daimyo Konda.
Kira [KEE-rah] An infamous kami that can ward itself and others against spells using coatings of magical glass.
Kyoki [KYO-kee] A dreaded oni whose gaze induces insanity.
Mannichi [man-NEE-chee] A mischievous, strange little kami of fevers and hallucinations.
Okiba [o-KEE-ba] A gang of nezumi known for its abundance of shinobi and ninja.
Oyobi [OY-oh-bee] A great kami of the sky and of winged creatures.
Sakiko [SAH-kee-koh] An orochi matron who has mastered the art of drawing green mana from her enemies’ holdings.
Shirei [SHEE-ray] A legendary kami, a kind of shepherd of the dead, who watches over the disgraced and abandoned battlefield called Shizo.
Shizuko [SHEE-zoo-koh] A powerful orochi shaman and rival of Sakiko who believes the orochi should be self-sufficient and uninvolved in the kami war.
Sosuke [SOH-soo-keh] The leader of the orochi warriors and son of Seshiro.
Terashi [teh-RAH-shee] The great kami of the sun.
Toshiro Umezawa [TOH-shee-roh oo-meh-ZAH-wah] An infamous ochimusha (a dishonored warrior) known for his resourcefulness and ambition. Umezawa rose from being a thief struggling to survive in Numai to a becoming a major figure in the Kami War.
Yomiji [YOH-mee-jee] The sacred and revered kami who guards the passage from life into death.
Yukora [YOO-koh-rah] A terrifying, murderous oni that was magically imprisoned for decades by 99 powerful kannushi.